Grieving for my parents at work

Grieving at Work

Originally published in September, 2022. Revamped March, 2023.

My parents’ 59th wedding anniversary would have been last week. I lost both of my parents in 2021 (in February and December).

I’ve been thinking about them a lot this past week. It’s the first time that I cannot celebrate the day with at least one of them.

Grieving for my parents at work

What I’ve learned about grieving

I’ve learned a lot about grieving and grief over these several months. I am posting here as one of my learnings was around what happens in/to your brain while grieving. “It’s like trying to learn calculus while running a marathon.” Wow. As the daughter of two mathematicians- this really struck me. The brain fog is real. The lack of being able to focus is real. The inability to process or work on complex tasks is real.

I’m mostly back to my pre-grieving brain, but not quite there. And, I’ll have moments of grief (my son’s Bar Mitzvah, graduation, one of the boys wanting help with math, gardening).

Grieving affects everyone

What helped me most – I had a lifeline of people around me (especially virtually). I am forever grateful to my family, friends and colleagues, who didn’t judge me, and who supported whatever version of myself showed up.

For those of you recently grieving – be kind to yourself. Please don’t judge yourself. You are running a marathon and trying to learn calculus. For those of you working with someone who is grieving – just being there helps. Offering to take on some more complex work is more of a support than you may know. And, whether virtual or in person, simply letting the person know you are thinking of them helps.

Resources to understand grief

Here are two helpful resources on the topic of your brain and grief: